Tailormade snowshoeing

Tailormade Snowshoeing


Overview

Snowshoeing is the perfect winter activity for those who enjoy mountain walking. Each winter we find that more and more summer hikers are joining us in the snow in a bid to continue their passion all year around. Snowshoeing is a great activity and we organise a number of tailor-made snowshoe trips every year for those who want to set their own dates, and pace. 

Booking a bespoke snowshoe trip means you can choose your companions and set your own goals for the trip. We have been guiding in winter since Tracks and Trails was set up in 2006 and as a result we have a wide range of itineraries which we can suggest at locations across the Alps. We can easily help you fulfil your aspirations to enjoy the mountains in winter. 

Snowshoeing does not require previous experience as it is simply a case of walking in the snow, but with equipment that makes it easier to do so. You do, however, need a reasonable level of fitness to make the most of your trip, unless you would prefer our slow snowshoe approach which ensures as many cake and coffee stops as possible! 

Any of our Scheduled Departure trips can be adapted to a bespoke trip. Please also take a look at the Itinerary section above for just a few ideas which may help you to make a start. Or if you already know what you want then get in touch with our office. 


Many thanks for a wonderful time. Our guide was knowledgeable, caring, safety conscious and fun to be with - in short a great leader. Having assessed the weather conditions she was able to find the sun and the best snowshoeing for each day. This was our first snowshoeing experience. We had a fabulous three days around Chamonix and would highly recommend Tracks and Trails. We will be back. Many thanks until the next time.

We just want to say a very big thank you for making our trip so fantastic. We couldn't have had a better time and every day was perfectly planned and executed. We have so many happy memories and are already looking forward to our next visit!

I thought Emma, our guide, was excellent, with safety of clients paramount. She had to be flexible due to the tricky snow conditions, but she explained her thinking at every stage so we knew what options were under consideration and what to expect. The Refuge…great location, good food, glorious views, plenty of character.

This is just to say thank you very much for organising such an adventure for us.  You managed to pack in every sort of weather and activity and I am pleased to say that once again I used every item of clothing in my rucksack. The Dolomites are really beautiful…all the rifugios were lovely…hot showers and food and our own duvets were perfection at the end of the day. Everyone had a good time and enjoyed it very much.

Itinerary

We can create bespoke itineraries to suit most requests. Below are some examples to give you an idea of what's possible.

  • The chance to spend a night in a mountain inn, isolated from the rest of the world by the snow and ice, is an opportunity not to be missed. Accommodation ranges from ancient monasteries to rustic wooden chalets, and state of the art igloos. It's a wonderful experience to come in from the cold to a warm welcome in the high mountains. You might want to consider including this option for one of the nights of your snowshoe holiday?

    These 'refuges' are widespread across the Alps, but for ease of reference we have given a few options below that are easily reached from Chamonix Valley, in France. We find that with Geneva airport only 1 hour, 15 minutes away, that many of our guests 'pop' over to Chamonix from the UK for a few days of winter air. There are, of course, many other possibilities for a night or two in the mountains. 

    Below are a few wonderful options that are within driving distance of Chamonix Valley, France. There are many more possibilities across the Alps. 

    The Grand St Bernard Hospice, Switzerland is on a high pass linking Italy and Switzerland and is home to the world famous St Bernard mountain dog. The monks at the Monastery have been offering comfort to weary travellers since the 11th century. In winter it can only be reached by snowshoes or skis which makes it a wonderful destination for a night in the mountains. We can begin with a drive to Switzerland to visit to the Grand St Bernard Museum in Martigny. The perfect introduction to the Monastery and its history. We then travel a little further to begin our hike. The route climbs high above the tree line through a snow covered valley to reach the Grand St Bernard Hospice founded in 1049 where we spend the night. Ascent 544m.

    The following morning we leave the monastery to explore further into this vast valley and network of peaks. Our route takes us initially down and then climbs to the Italian frontier and the Col Ouest de Barasson at 2635m. We are rewarded with excellent views into Italy, of the Mont Blanc range, and nearby summit of the Pain de Sucre. The perfect location to enjoy a picnic lunch and stillness of the mountains. Ascent 700m.

    Le Refuge Tornieux, France is a characterful and cosy option for a great night in the mountains in Chamonix Valley. The refuge sits in a high bowl below the stunning Aravis mountain range with great views all the way back to Mont Blanc. There is an easy trail which ascends to the refuge and if necessary we could arrange to have some luggage delivered for you. Otherwise we hike up with what we need for the night. A pleasant evening can be passed here enjoying the local cuisine and wine. 

    Next morning, we can walk further into the high bowl and enjoy the views before we head back down to the valley. It is also possible to rent sledges and enjoy a 5 km trail from the refuge down to the parking area. 

    La Petite Auberge, Switzerland makes an excellent snowshoe destination and is suitable for all levels. We park below the lake and then climb steadily on a wide track to what is essentially a hidden valley surrounded by stunning peaks. The Auberge itself is situated in a quiet alpine setting by Lac de Tanay, Switzerland and you will be welcomed with excellent local cuisine. The building has been recently renovated and really is a glorious hideaway where we have never before met any snowshoers or skiers who are not 'locals' who share our secret.

    The next morning we can enjoy a wander further up the valley before descending back down to the auberge for a well-earned coffee. After re-fuelling we make our way back down to our vehicle. It is also possible today to have time to visit the Grand St Bernard Museum in Martigny to learn about the history of the Grand St Bernard Monastery and the famous rescue dogs of the same name. 

  • Walking through the forest at night with the snow sparkling on the pine needles is one of the great joys of snowshoeing. If you are visiting Chamonix Valley, in France, we can arrange an evening snowshoe walk to a wonderful characterful Auberge where you can enjoy a delicious dinner of local food, while warming yourself before a log fire. It is something that all the family can enjoy with a snowshoe hike that can be adapted to suit you.

    All you will need is warm clothes and a sense of adventure! We can provide all the snowshoe equipment including a head torch. We would meet you as the sun sets and head off to explore the snow covered alpine forests.

    La Boerne is a refuge dating back to the 18th century. Located on high ground a few kilometres from Chamonix it provides a wonderful venue for dinner. At La Boerne you can 'feel' the mountain history, the culture that has shaped the communities of this alpine valley. The Auberge is in fact run by Gilbert, a High Mountain Guide, descended from a long line of famous climbers and guides of the Chamonix Valley. This is a true alpine experience and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. 

    La Vieilles Luge is an ancient farm chalet perched above Chamonix. The restaurant has an amazing ambiance, and dates back 250 years. It is run by a family who can trace their roots back to 1479.  

     

     

     

  • Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe and the world famous alpine town of Chamonix provides a stunning base for snowshoeing. This French town is full of character and history and makes a great location to spend a few days or a week of snowshoeing. Every time you look up you see 'it' there, a world of snow, ice and rock and dreams of mountain adventure.

    With a wide range of accommodation on offer Chamonix suits all budgets and requirements. It is also only a 30 minute drive to Switzerland where we have the chance to conquer some peaks, or even spend a night in the world famous Grand St Bernard Monastery, a unique experience. 

    Below are just a few of the possible snowshoe routes that are available near Chamonix:

    Chalets de Chailloux,france

    If this is your fist time on snowshoes we will spend time making sure you are comfortable with the equipment. It really is simply a case of walking, but wearing an item of kit on your feet that makes it all easier. We spend the day enjoying a walk with views of the Mont Blanc massif from the Chalets de Chailloux, a fabulous vantage point that gives a wonderful photo opportunity to capture Chamonix valley and glaciers. Ascent 570m.

    Mont de l'Arpille, Switzerland

    Today we could have a trip to Switzerland, and an ascent of one of the best viewpoints of the area. We head up initially through pine woods, watching out for squirrels and roe deer, and then into more open ground as we arrive at alpage. An alpage is where the sheep and cows graze in the summer months. We then wind our way to the summit which offers incredible panoramas of Mont Blanc, the Dents du Midi, and the Rhône Valley. Ascent 770m.

    Refuge de Loriaz, France

    Chalet Loriaz is above the hamlet of Vallorcine. The Vallorcine valley, which means ‘valley of the bears', used to easily be cut off during the winter months due to it's access being two mountain passes. Unfortunately, because the locals used to pay their taxes in bear meat there are none left today! We leave the village to climb steadily on a good trail until we reach the open mountainside of the alpage at Loriaz. If the conditions permit we can also ascend the higher point of the Charmoz. Ascent 700m. 

    La Crête des Bénés, France 

    A truly beautiful ridge line which offers excellent views in all directions. Today we drive down the valley towards the market town of Sallanches where we take a small mountain road climbing to the parking at Le Perret. From here we pick up the forest trail which zigzags up the hillside to the ancient farms below the Tete Noire at 1691m, a fine summit in itself. We then leave the trees to discover what have to be some of the finest views of the Mont Blanc range. On one side the valley which leads to Chamonix, with Mont Blanc in the distance, on the other the Aravis mountains, and ahead the shapely mountain of the Croisse Baulet at 2236m. Ascent 680m.

    Getting to Chamonix

    Chamonix is easily reached from other European & Worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. Geneva is the closest international airport, only 1 hour 15 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. 

  • We find that many of our bespoke trips are based on the Scheduled Departures which we already offer on this website. Simply browse the Scheduled Departures and decide which one you would like as a private trip. The itineraries can be adjusted to suit your needs with 'rest' days inserted where appropriate, and the number of trip days either extended or shortened.

    In this respect we find that the Traverse of the Chablais which is a six day mountain journey is popular as a bespoke trip. Also our centre based week Chamonix Snowshoe Adventure is also a great week for a private group. We can source a chalet or hotel which can be used as your base for this week. 

     

  • Our totally bespoke trips are those where you have the ideas and the dreams and we discuss how these can be achieved. They could feature an element of our Scheduled Departure trip itineraries, but also include other optional activities, such as cross country skiing, alpine skiing, ice climbing, dog sledding, or maybe something more relaxing such as a visit to the beautiful spa at Pre St Didier in Italy, followed by compulsory gelato, to end your trip?

    Every winter we spend time at Venabu, in Norway, a tranquil mountain hotel on the edge of the Rondane National Park. Here there are many activities available which can be included in a snowshoe trip, there is dog sledding, cross country skiing, horse drawn sleigh rides, yoga/pilates classes and massage available. 

    In other words 'Bespoke' means created and crafted just for you and your family or friends. A unique experience in the stunning mountains of the Alps or indeed farther afield such as Bulgaria or Scandinavia.

Accommodation

We always aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. In many cases we have known the management for years, and it’s like visiting friends. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender. 

However, on many of our trips single rooms are available on request for a supplementary fee. We recommend booking as early as possible to secure a single room as these are always limited in number. Please contact us for details.


  • Please note that you must have the appropriate insurance for your chosen activity. As we will be travelling in the mountains, you must be covered for helicopter rescue, repatriation and medical costs. For further details, please ensure you have carefully read the Insurance section of our website.

  • The standard of accommodation is entirely up to you. If you are choosing to base your trip in a town such as Chamonix, France, then a huge range of accommodation is on offer from 5 star luxury spa hotels, such as the Hotel Mont Blanc to comfortable 2 star family run hotels. We can source whatever level of comfort you wish. 

    If you would like to include a true mountain experience and spend a night high in the mountains there are characterful 'refuges' perched in the most amazing remote locations. The accommodation in a refuge is basic, and more often than not the sleeping arrangements are dormitory style. An excellent 'bonding' experience! Some such as the fabulous Rifugio Bonatti, in Aosta Valley, in Italy offer a more comfortable experience with bedrooms available, hot showers, excellent food and good wines. 

  • In winter the temperatures in the mountains can range from 8˚C on a sunny afternoon to minus 10˚C on a chilly morning. Temperatures in both the Alps and Scandinavia can drop to minus 20˚C and lower. In winter the weather can involve continuous snowfall, and strong winds so you should be prepared for cold, possibly wet weather. It can also be very sunny, and pleasantly warm. 

  • If you wish to add on optional activities these can easily be arranged for you. In winter you could choose to experience a range of other winter sports. Depending on the location you are choosing for your trip these can include trying cross country skiing, dog sledding, ice climbing, glacier walking, or even sleigh rides. We can advise you on what is available in each location. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. You can read our full policy here.


The date range given below indicates the months when the activity can be undertaken. The prices indicated are for a half day/evening or full day of snowshoeing.

Equipment Rental If you require snowshoe equipment we can provide this at a rate of £15 per person per day, or £10 per person for a half day which is 3 hrs. We also accept payment in Euros by prior arrangement.

The Complete Package We can also quote you an all inclusive price which can include accommodation, snowshoe equipment hire, the guides fees and expenses and all logistics. We can also add on other winter activities such as cross country skiing, husky dog sledding, etc. 

Maximum Numbers To ensure that you make the most of your snowshoe experience we take a maximum of 8 people per guide. We can, of course, accommodate larger groups but for reasons of safety and enjoyment this would require an additional guide or guides depending on the group size. 

2019

Tue 01 Jan - Sun 07 Apr
Code: TMS
Half Day: £175 Full Day: £265 Enquire Now

Many thanks for a wonderful time. Our guide was knowledgeable, caring, safety conscious and fun to be with - in short a great leader. Having assessed the weather conditions she was able to find the sun and the best snowshoeing for each day. This was our first snowshoeing experience. We had a fabulous three days around Chamonix and would highly recommend Tracks and Trails. We will be back. Many thanks until the next time.

We just want to say a very big thank you for making our trip so fantastic. We couldn't have had a better time and every day was perfectly planned and executed. We have so many happy memories and are already looking forward to our next visit!

I thought Emma, our guide, was excellent, with safety of clients paramount. She had to be flexible due to the tricky snow conditions, but she explained her thinking at every stage so we knew what options were under consideration and what to expect. The Refuge…great location, good food, glorious views, plenty of character.

This is just to say thank you very much for organising such an adventure for us.  You managed to pack in every sort of weather and activity and I am pleased to say that once again I used every item of clothing in my rucksack. The Dolomites are really beautiful…all the rifugios were lovely…hot showers and food and our own duvets were perfection at the end of the day. Everyone had a good time and enjoyed it very much.

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At a Glance

From Price What's your budget?
Holiday Type Tailormade
Duration How long do you have?
Minimum Age Any
Countries Visited Italy, France, Switzerland, Norway, Germany
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